Thinking Anglicans

violence in Nigeria

Updated Saturday morning

The latest reports of religious strife in Nigeria are very disturbing:

New York Times Lydia Polgreen Nigeria Counts 100 Deaths Over Danish Caricatures
BBC Bodies pile up after Nigeria riot
Guardian Revenge attacks kill 20 Nigerian Muslims
Independent Five days of violence by Nigerian Christians and Muslims kill 150
IRIN via Reuters At least 123 killed as anger over cartoons fuels existing tensions
Update here is a link to the latest reports from this source.
Telegraph Sectarian killings strain the fragile unity of Nigeria

Ecumenical News International Anglican leader warns of reprisals over torching of Nigeria churches
Church Times Rachel Harden Muslim mobs murder African Christians
NB scroll down for Bishop’s wife in hospital after attack which is about the wife of the Bishop of Jos. See also CEN Mob attacks Bishops family. And also, see this letter from the bishop.

The statement made by Archbishop Akinola, in his role as President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, can be found in full on the Church of Nigeria website. That statement was criticised yesterday on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme:

Nigeria is suffering inter-faith violence as a result of the row over the cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed. Nearly a hundred people have been killed in the last few days. Bishop Cyril Okorocha of the Owerri Diocese in south-east Nigeria, joins the programme.

Listen with Real Audio (4 minutes).

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TundeDaveKurtAugustus MeriwetherNeil B Recent comment authors
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Kurt
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Kurt

Akinola’s statement reads like a recipe for another civil war. Why am I not surprised?

Jack
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Jack

This is very sad. I would ask the Bishop to stick with Jesus’s teaching to love thy enemy and turn the other cheek. I can understand how extremely difficult this is, but a further escalation is the last thing that is needed. It’s a crazy, mixed up world that we live in. I know nothing about Nigeria, but the little I have read suggests that the Muslims have responded viciously to the cartoon controversy, and also to disagreements with the central government by taking it out on their Christian neighbours, and the youth of the Christian communities have responded in… Read more »

Cynthia
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Cynthia

I await with some interest any comment from Canterbury about Archbishop Akinola’s thinly veiled invitation to violence by Christians. This morning’s Washington Post carried a wire service story saying the those who had killed Muslims were now burning the bodies. In any human terms, this is outrageous. I wonder because I do not know – would this be a particular outrage in terms of Islamic practice?

Augustus Meriwether
Guest

Akinola is clearly making a call to arms. I can understand this from a human, Nigerian civilian perspective, but not from the Primate of All Nigeria’s perspective. Have I got my expectations all muddled up? Is it an apostle of Christ’s responsibility to rouse a population to civil war? Has the Anglican communion reached a consensus where we agree that our bishops become warmongers? How long will the rest of our pathetic, spineless ethicless communion stand by whilst the likes of Akinola make a mockery of Christianity, let alone Anglicanism. I’m getting really, really bored of Anglicanism. It’s a scratch-its-arse-while-someone-sets-fire-to-its-head… Read more »

ruidh
Guest

It makes one wonder if the growth of the church in Nigeria is due to effective evangelism or cultural polarization.

Merseymike
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Merseymike

This really does sum up what is wrong with the Nigerian church.

They are a mirror-image of the fundamentalist Muslims they so oppose.

Dave
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Dave

No way would I support stirring up violence and retribution, though I can imagine that I would want to defend my family and my community if this were happening here. I don’t think we should be so quick to condemn! However, as many virtuous liberal contributors to TA convinced that they would react differently, maybe they would like to visit northern Nigeria to show the Christians there how to respond properly to physical attacks ? But if you’re not actually willing to do what you tell them to do, at least show a little bit of sympathy for those suffering… Read more »

John Henry
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John Henry

Very good comments on the situation in Nigeria and why Anglicans ought to be wary of aligning themselves with ++Peter Abuja. Too bad among Episcopalians in the Red States (U.S. states that support George W Bush) ++Peter Abuja is still an icon of a saintly and godly bishop, who simply can’t do any wrong. Nor can their godly President who has disgraced the United States by resorting to torture and the violation of human rights at Guantanamo, Cuba. I am looking forward to the day when ++John Ebor succeeds in having the international court of justice indict George W Bush… Read more »

Douglas Hayes
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Douglas Hayes

Mr. Henry, I’m a resident of Sodom-on-the-Hudson, and even I found your generalization about Episcopalians in the red states to be sweeping to the point of grossly unjust. I personally know several Churchmen and -women in the red states who find Akinola and his cohort as unsavory as I do, and I would hasten to point out that there is more than one diocese in the blue states (Albany, Pittsburgh, and Quincy come most readily to mind) where remaining loyal to the Episcopal Church is a daunting task these days. Please keep in mind that religious and general regional political… Read more »

Neil B
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Neil B

The self-righteousness of some of these posts – when brothers and sisters in Christ are paying with their lives – and have been doing so for many years – is shameful and sickening.

Simon Sarmiento
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Neil

I notice that there are also conservative expressions of concern: did you listen to what Bishop Cyril Okorocha said on the radio clip? I don’t think he can be classed as a “liberal”.

Neil B
Guest
Neil B

There is a difference between expressing concern – which of course anyone with an ounce of human compassion, let alone Christian conviction, shares – and expressions which cast outlandish aspersions and sound dangerously like “ha, ha, serves them right” or “See! nothing good can come out of Nigeria”! I find the undercurrents shocking and lacking in balanced perspective. How about us supporting our brothers and sisters in Christ? How about praying for peace, for restraint for all but particularly Christians, for Christians’ assurance in the face of persecution, for wisdom for Christian leaders who must be under huge pressure?

Pete
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Pete

The issue under discussion is NOT the tragedy of violence between Christians and Muslims in Nigeria. It is over the “coming out” of ++Akinola as a violence monger. It was easier for many to ignore this fact when he was just bashing gays. Now he is advocating violence against Muslims. Those who support him should be embarrassed.

Neil B
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Neil B

Pete, I think you’ll find most of the articles above don’t mention Akinola.
If you’re right, my point is made: the discussion is self-righteous and unbalanced in its focus.

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Neil
I am quite confused by your comments. Are you criticising the reports linked in the original blog article, or are you criticising the comments posted by TA readers?
If the latter, then most do mention Abp Akinola either by name or by reference to “the bishop” etc.

RMF
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RMF

The Lord God and His Risen Son are the safe harbor. He does not turn any way, not a one.

This is the Good News. Not, “be careful or we will tell our young boys to go after you.”

As primate, Akinola must know this, or he should. But he has other designs than preaching the Word.

In contrast, for true Christian leadership in Nigeria on this issue, we must look to the Catholic bishops. Because certainly no one is looking towards Akinola. What a disgrace.

Neil B
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Neil B

This sticking of pins into dolls of Akinola would be really quite laughable if it weren’t serious. My point was: The articles report the terrible events going on in Nigeria and a minority mention Akinola’s comments. Yet the ONE issue focused on in most of these posts (and on other threads too) is not the tragedy or the scandal of the whole situation, nor empathy with members of our Christian family for their ongoing suffering and persecutions, nor concern for Christians who may be provoked to retaliate. Most posts have engaged in venomous mud-slinging against the one who is the… Read more »

Augustus Meriwether
Guest

It is difficult to find words to begin to discuss the complex and tragic situation of the tribal, religious, political violence happening in Nigeria at the moment. People IN NIGERIA are not sure what the reasons are for this sudden rise (the cartoons are not enough to justify it), as some of the other Nigerian clergy are saying (see later reports included in Simon’s entry here http://www.thinkinganglicans.org.uk/archives/001564.html ) I imagine most of us don’t know what to say about such a confusing situation on the other side of the world. Maybe when more firm facts begin to come out of… Read more »

Kurt
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Kurt

“Mr. Henry, I’m a resident of Sodom-on-the-Hudson, and even I found your generalization about Episcopalians in the red states to be sweeping to the point of grossly unjust. I personally know several Churchmen and -women in the red states who find Akinola and his cohort as unsavory as I do, and I would hasten to point out that there is more than one diocese in the blue states (Albany, Pittsburgh, and Quincy come most readily to mind) where remaining loyal to the Episcopal Church is a daunting task these days.”– Douglas Hayes Sodom-on-the-Hudson? Is that anywhere near My Old School… Read more »

Dave
Guest
Dave

Dear Neil, I think that the reactions of our liberal friends to the situation in Nigeria demonstrates how completely they have liberated their faith from it’s biblical roots. Not only do they reject every moral teaching that doesn’t agree with current thought, but they also reject the people who persist in believing and teaching bible morality. Hence the vehement anger and hate of one of the most powerful conservatives – Akinola (though I guess ABp Jensen would get similar treatment if he were in the news). How about some generosity towards what Akinola said ? Fat chance… Even the key… Read more »

Tunde
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Tunde

Gosh! Where was I? Actually left this site for some time. If you have prayed, fasted, sweated, and see God grant an opening for the Gospel. If you have seen people’s lives changed and see them devote themselves to Christ despite oppositions. If you have watched people where families surviving on less that two dollars ($2.00) a day struggle to put up a place of worship and regularly go there every morning and on many evenings. If, you have had to go back there only to bury some of them and provide blankets for survivors whose homes and businesses were… Read more »